Cancer Type – Breast
Bio – The figure skating star had a benign lump removed in her early 20’s, but it would be a different story at 49.
Short Story – The 1968 Olympic Gold Champion in Ladies’ singles and figure skating commentator had a benign lump removed in her early 20’s. During a self breast exam, she did not fear what appeared to be a shadow of a lump in her chest. Fleming was 49.
Tests would prove this lump malignant, and her athleticism came to the forefront. Married to a physician she started putting her questions together to be armed with every detail to “train” in a sense, what was best for her body.
“People need to get more in charge of looking at themselves and finding out how they’re feeling,” she insists. “If they’re feeling really different, pay attention to the changes. Early detection is a key element and a wonderful tool to save your life when it comes to cancer.”
Peggy’s treatment started with surgery to remove the one centimeter tubular carcinoma, followed by six weeks of radiation.
In her interview with Coping with Cancer, Peggy admitted, “I thought it was going to be real easy, and it is… relatively. But about two-and-a-half weeks into it, I started feeling tired, really swollen, and itchy. It really irritated my skin. I was also exercising through the treatments, and I think that made it more irritated. I had to do a little balancing act of, Okay, I won’t exercise quite that much, and I’ll use some cortisone cream to take down the itching. You compare notes with other radiation patients, and you try all kinds of things.”
Speaking out helped her through the shock, pain, and uneasy feelings. The diagnosis shifted her focus from gracing the figure skating world to spending more time at home with her family.
Thank you Peggy for being an inspiration on and off the ice.
Peggy Fleming Breast Cancer Update
Peggy remains cancer-free to date. She and her husband, a dermatologist, Greg Jenkins just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The couple lives in a San Jose suburb of Los Gatos, California. She has two boys and three grandchildren.
The Peggy Fleming Trophy was established in 1968 because she thought that figure skating had been pushed to the side. The emphasis of the Peggy Fleming Trophy is to display each skater’s skill to creatively express and perform a complete arrangement while revealing superior technical talents. The music, creativity, and overall presentation are the focus for the contest and all skating fundamentals are judged from an artistic viewpoint. This year due to the Covid19 pandemic, the competition will be held virtually. Good luck to the contestants.
In 2003, Peggy joined Friends of CanCare president Sara Emel, for the CanCare National Cancer Survivor’s Day Luncheon where they raised $52,000 for breast cancer.
In October 2005, Peggy and Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery released a wine named Fleming Jenkins Victories Rose’ during October; which is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, to raise money for breast cancer research. Thank you Peggy and Greg!!
Through the years Peggy has remained a huge advocate for breast cancer research and awareness.
|Country represented||United States|
|Born||July 27, 1948 (age 72), San Jose, California, United States|
|Height||5 ft 4 in (163 cm)|
|Former coach||William Kipp, Carlo Fassi|
|Skating club||Arctic Blades FSC, Lake Arrowhead, Broadmoor Skating Club, Colorado Springs|
|Figure skating: Ladies’ singles|
|Representing the USA|
|Gold Medal – First Place, 1968 Grenoble||Ladies’ singles|
|Gold Medal – First Place, 1968 Geneva||Ladies’ singles|
|Gold Medal – First Place, 1967 Vienna||Ladies’ singles|
|Gold Medal – First Place, 1966 Davos||Ladies’ singles|
|Bronze Medal – Third Place, 1965 Colorado Springs||Ladies’ singles|
|North American Championships|
|Gold Medal – First Place, 1967 Montreal||Ladies’ singles|
|Silver Medal – Second Place 1965 Rochester||Ladies’ singles|
Image Credits – By US Mission Canada [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons